Managing Vendors and Suppliers

It is just as important to communicate with your suppliers and vendors as it is to communicate with your customers. Establishing the proper communication channels and information flows between you and your suppliers can lead to increased efficiencies, reduced costs and better customer service. This section will cover the simple communication methods (i.e. telephone) and other ideas that will allow your company to build a win-win relationship with your suppliers and vendors.

The nature of an organization's relationship with its suppliers has dramatically changed. Global outsourcing and co-development is on the rise as companies increase focus on their core competencies. These changes have created a need for organizations to put in place a supplier quality management system to increase visibility into supplier quality and improve supplier accountability.

Some of the best practices being employed by leading global manufacturers by leveraging HDL Systems knowledge of Supplier Quality Management solutions include:

Supplier Access: Deploying quality management systems with web-based access for suppliers enabling them to easily access and rapidly adopt a web-based supplier quality management system. Even suppliers with basic IT infrastructure can access the application without any additional investment in hardware or software.

Real-time Quality Analysis: Automating review and approval workflows for quality data in real-time by following a systematic process for collecting, plotting and analyzing inspection data to identify material nonconformance before lots are shipped.

Issue Tracking: Tracking supplier nonconformance issues in real-time by establishing consistent procedures for components and lots that do not conform to specifications. Trackwise supports identification, evaluation, segregation, and disposition of nonconforming material as well as issue investigation and tracking.

Streamlined Corrective Actions: Implementing a proactive approach to supplier corrective action requests (SCARs) or corrective/preventive action requests (CAPAs) across the supply-base. Trackwise enables triggering SCARs/CAPAs, performing root cause analysis, assigning follow up actions while effectively tracking and routing cases from initiation to closure.

Supplier Charge-backs: Charging cost of poor quality back to the supplier for the costs incurred by a manufacturer due to nonconforming components, materials, and late deliveries in order to to introduce business discipline and accountability into the supply chain. Trackwise supports recovering both - material costs and processing costs associated with the nonconformance. It allows users to manage the end-to-end chargeback process - aggregate all costs from an incident, route for approvals internally and to the supplier, collaboratively resolve the disputed recovery amounts, and notify back office systems for financial closure.

Supplier Scorecards: Monitoring supplier performance on scorecards to proactively identify and implement timely corrective actions improves supplier performance. Trackwise scorecards measure key performance indicators (KPI) in real-time and track improvements over time supporting sound decision-making based on data.

Supplier Audits: Conducting supplier audits to ensure that suppliers meet the established product and process quality requirements and the audit process drives continuous improvement. Trackwise provides capabilities to plan, schedule and conduct audits, allows audits finding to be analyzed and enables the initiation of follow-up activities such as corrective action requests and re-audits.